I recently found myself logging into my battle.net account to see the status of my SC2 Beta, and was quite surprised at the overall changes they’ve done there since last time I visited.
I think in a way, this is something that really spoils people using Blizzard products, not only do I have the available downloads of my old games there, but there’s a simple link to administer my two WoW-accounts, and also a simple link that says “click here to add a new WoW 10-day trial account!” – almost scary how easy it’d be to get started with the multiboxing again.
In terms of SC2 though, I clicked around and found that they actually have the option to download SC2 now, and just pay/activate at the launch day if needed! If you misunderstand me right here, this is almost enough incentive to actually buy SC2 on its own!
This realization comes at a time where I’ve been trying to figure out what to do in regards to Final Fantasy XIV (online), and how the ordering there will work out. In terms of mmorpgs, I’m extremely fond of being able to log in at the exact minute that the servers go online and be one of the first to explore the new server – and I’m concerned in terms of the FFXIV launch and their pre-ordering options – as I don’t really know which ones will be able to get me the game on time!
In previous online games, it has been more or less the standard for pre-orders to gain access to an early access beta, and in that sense you’re covered regarding having the software available at launch – and they also have a 3-5 day grace period where you can still play live before you actually get the retail key in the mail.
Note that this could still happen with FFXIV, having their launch date two months ahead in time, I’m just slightly concerned as the pre-orders are already being sold, and if they have such perks, they’d usually announce them.
I’m hoping Square will follow slightly with what Blizzard is doing with their account management, downloadable software and all – not to mention simplify the entire account management process in general, as anyone who played FFXI will testify that creating the account and getting things working there wasn’t as trivial as it should have been. Note that they could’ve fixed this up already, but seeing how they didn’t feel like inviting me into their beta, I don’t know!